One day, in addition to the Playground, I will also run a yoga studio.

A very unconventional yoga studio. There will be nap time and yoga nidra and old Turkish lady yoga, and plenty of Shiva Nata and related shivanautical goodness.

And, of course, there will *not* be barbie doll instructors in leotards. No mirrors. It will be more like the Playground (playful! magical!), but not hidden to the general public.

Anyway, I’ve been working on this for a while but it’s still mostly in gwish form. Gwish!

The thing I’m paying attention to right now is bathrooms. The thoughtful kind.

What is a thoughtful bathroom?

The experience of being there tells you someone has put conscious effort into figuring out how to make you feel cared for. And welcome.

At Michelle’s lovely studio in Sacramento (Selma and I were just there in December to teach a segment of her teacher training program), she has a little bowl of hair bands.

In case you have lots of hair and you forgot one and now your hair is in your face. This happens to me all the time.

I thought this was the sweetest thing. We have one in the Playground now — in the Treasure Room, right next to the orange tray of orange ear plugs.

So I’ve been collecting.

Every time I visit a washroom, I am keeping watch for objects and symbols: whatever is kind, generous, considerate.

Then I try to figure out how we can use this in some other context at the Playground, and what I can plan for when we open the studio.

At New Seasons, they have a bowl of tampons in the ladies.

At the Playground we have a box of lady supplies, donated by a generous Friend of Playground. It currently resides in the Galley (in the cabinet under the sink).

They also have a little foot stool, perfect for a kid to step up and dry hands.

And a respectful, well worded sign. Most signs tend to either be bossy or begging. Whenever I find a really clear and sovereign sign, I jot it down in my little notebook.

Looking for congruence.

A place I love to visit in Portland is the Tin Shed. Mostly because the food is amazing — if you come to a Rally, we can totally go.

If you are a past Rallion, weigh in. Is this place not marvelous?

But I just love the restroom. Plenty of space. The lighting doesn’t make you look half dead, which I appreciate.

And then the changing table. It’s not some plastic thing that needs to be pulled out of the wall.

It’s this nice wooden piece of furniture that looks and feels like a real thing. It’s not just a nod to people who have kids live in Bolivia. It’s really lovely.

More important, it is congruent, to use a Hiro-ism.

The changing table matches the essence of what they do, and it feels harmonious with the rest of their business: homemade, friendly, unpretentious.

Speaking of Hiro.

Speaking of Hiro, I love visiting her. And not only because I love her to pieces.

When you are her guest, everything is welcoming.

And the bathroom is the best. There are always flowers. Delicious smelling lavender body wash. Plenty of everything you could possibly need.

You can’t help but think, this is the most incredibly hospitable place in the world and I never want to leave.

And it makes sense, because Hiro’s work is all about helping you belong in your life. So it’s a loving space, because that’s how she lives.

How to apply this to everything.

Being the owner of a business, I’m constantly thinking about how to apply everything to business.

And being a conscious, mindful destuckifier, I’m also trying to think about how to apply these concepts to everything else in life.

Obviously you don’t need to have an actual bathroom to have a thoughtful bathroom. I’m thinking about things like this:

What would a thoughtful contact form on a website look and feel like?

Or a thoughtful welcome packet for an online course or program.

A thoughtful policies page for your Etsy shop.

Or if you do have a bricks and mortar space, how to look from the outside like you might be the kind of place that has a thoughtful bathroom.

Where to start.

I’m looking at what the qualities of my business and the essential personality of its culture, so that I can make everything more congruent.

And examining my gwishes to get more information about what their essence is.

I think there’s something so powerful (and also marvelously subversive) in making business be about congruence and essence, instead of focusing on things like “how to build a list” or “what headlines make people click”.

Because when you’re paying attention to the feeling/experience/qualities you want both you and your people to have, that other stuff gets easier.

It becomes both less essential and more do-able.

This kind of practice also makes goals and wishes less elusive. More tangible. I may not have my studio for a while, but I know exactly how my people will feel once they’re there. And let me tell you, they will freaking love the bathroom. I can’t wait until you see it.

Play! And the comment zen blanket fort.

Here’s what I would love:

Stories or bits of information about bathrooms you adore, or other ways that businesses you like radiate qualities and make you feel at home.

And it would be neat if we could do some brainstorming about ways we can all apply this, whether to online business or life in general.

Business is a full-of-triggers thing for a lot of us, so we make room for everyone to have their stuff and we comfort our monsters as best we can.

We share our own experience without giving each other advice, unless people ask for it, in which case go for it.

And I need to end this post now because trying not to make the just one guy joke about Thoughtful Bathrooms is killing me. I need to save a fake band for tomorrow, right? Kisses!

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